[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.–Editor.]
The position of Reform Judaism in England was stated in an interview, published in the London "Sunday Express." by Rabbi Israel Mattuck, rabbin of the Liberal Synagogue of London. Rabbi Mattuck’s statement was in reply to the charge made on a number of occasions recently by Chief Rabbi Dr. Hertz that Liberal Judaism, which he described as "dry rationalism– irreverent and disintegrating," will lead eventually "out of Judaism, and, ultimately, into Christianity."
Dr. Herz had also charged specifically that Liberal Judaism aims: To abolish the Rite of the Covenant and the Feast of the Passover; To substitute the Christian Sunday for the Jewish Sabbath; To abolish to all intents and purposes the Feast of Tabernacles; To abolish (in one instance) Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and, in other instances, to cease to fast on that day.
"Orthodox Judaism." Rabbi Mattuck declared to the "Sunday Express" representative. "accepts the Biblical and rabbfnfe laws as having been divinely revealed, and therefore permanently authoritative.
"We, on the other hand, hold that revelation is progressive, and that all that the past has handed down to us in ideas and practices should be judged only in the light of present knowledge.
"We do not maintain all the old Jewish customs and observances. We are indifferent to the dietary laws. Our followers eat what they please. We do not regard the Bible as being true in all details.
"We stand for the religious future of the Jew who has emancipated himself from the Ghetto and is taking his place in the world today."
THE JEWS IN JAPAN
The Jewish settlements in Japan have participated in the rebuilding of their communities, which were recently demolished by the earthquake, we learn from an article by N. Ben Me?chem. appearing in the current American Jewish press.
"Quite recently there has been a new appearance in the life of the Russian Jews in Japan; their emigration from one Japanese province to another." we read. "In connection with the rebuilding of the demolished towns a revival has started of the Jewish community in Yokohama. There are also a couple of scure of Jewish families in T###. These two cities are being rapidly rebuild.
"In the nothern islands of Japan there are a number of preserves factories and a few of the ### owning them are Jewish.
"The Jewish settlement in Nagasaki has almost completely vanished. Emgration to Australia the Philippine #### and the British and Duch Indies is conducted through Nakasaki. The Harbin Jewish Emigration Bureau is is compelled to send the Jewish emigrants to a Japanese hotel in Nagasaki where Russian is spoken.
"In spite of all restriction the Jewish settlements in Japan grow steadily and an absolutely new mode of life is being evolved here by the Jewish settlers–a life which is quite different from Jewish life anywhere else."